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A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors
(Pronounced juh-SEP-pee greh-co)
Born: Acquaviva delle Fonti, Italy
Lives: Palagianello, Italy
How he began with the piano: [As told through friend and translator Rosa Strittoli] When he was a boy, Greco had a toy piano and started to play it himself, copying music he heard on the television.
He started formal lessons at a fairly late age, 10 years old, but proved to be a natural at the instrument, quickly mastering his lessons. Within a few years, his teachers began to encourage him to enter competitions.
Family background: His mother is a homemaker, his father a tradesman. Neither are musicians, nor is his only brother.
Favorite composer: Beethoven. Greco has started composing music himself, so he’s infatuated with composers.
Hobbies: Photography. He owns an expensive camera, he says. He also watches sports on television, but doesn’t play himself.
Reading habits: Mostly he prefers essays about musicians and composers. He wants to be informed.
Major musical achievements: He has performed at major venues throughout Italy and was awarded the Yamaha scholarship for the top Italian pianist by the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe.
His feelings about coming to the United States for the first time: “Calm. Quiet. Focused on the competition,” he says.
— Tim Madigan